This week’s highlights from around the web include "Uber for drone pilots," a new service that helps companies find and hire unmanned aerial vehicles for mapping jobs, surveying and other work; an article from the Associated Press has federal and industry offices saying reports of drone sightings near other planes, helicopters and airfields are reaching the government almost daily; and an all-in-one 3D printer and scanner makes over $500,000 on Kickstarter with more than a month left to donate.
- Wired highlights an interesting new company out of California touting itself as the 'Uber for drones': "The founder of the San Francisco drone startup SkyCatch wants to bring the “sharing economy” ethos to drones, offering a new service called Workmode, which helps companies find and hire unmanned aerial vehicles for mapping jobs, surveying, and other work. Aerial drones make it far easier and faster to make good maps, as they provide a view of the landscape below. What once took days of surveying can be done in hours. That’s a boon to construction companies and mining operations that need maps of quickly changing terrain, but not every company can spend $10,000 on a drone for a one-off project—and even fewer have qualified drone pilots on staff.That’s why SkyCatch is launching Workmode, which helps companies find third-party drone pilots—much like Uber lets you hire a car ride or AirBnb lets you rent a room. The goal is to make it easier for companies to afford the expensive technology of unmanned aerial vehicles and, in the process, help independent pilots make money from their drones. But it’ll need some help from regulators."
- The Associated Press says drone sighting are up dramatically over two years ago: "More than a million small drone aircraft have been sold in the past few years, and a growing number of them are turning up in the skies near airports and airliners, posing a risk of collision. Reports of drone sightings near other planes, helicopters and airfields are reaching the government almost daily, say federal and industry officials. It's a sharp increase from just two years ago when such reports were still unusual."
- There's another 3D printer on Kickstarter seeking backing. Called Flux, by Flux Technology, LLC, out of San Francisco, it does much more than print objects. It scans and engraves, among other things. With 37 days left to go still, the Flux campaign has already reached $588,288 on Kickstarter. It had a $100,000 goal. Most of the cheaper pledges, which would get you basic versions of the Flux, are already gone. Currently, you can still pledge $599 to get the Classic version.